17 places for relaxation, fun and sustenance in Bay View — all suggested by 17 Milwaukee residents.
Map of the Bay View 17 for ‘17
Historical Points of Interest
- 1834: Horace Chase settles in area
- 1836: Elijah and Zebiah Estes settle; Zebiah names village “Bay View”
- 1855: First train depot for Lake Shore Railroad located in Bay View
- 1862: Horace Chase serves as mayor of Milwaukee
- 1868: The Milwaukee Iron Co. makes Bay View a company town
- 1879: Village of Bay View incorporated; over 2,500 people live in Milwaukee’s first suburb
- 1886: In what’s known as the Bay View Massacre, Wisconsin National Guardsmen kill seven workers, part of a crowd of 1,500 strikers calling for an 8-hour work day
- 1887: Bay View annexed to the city of Milwaukee as the 17th ward
- 1923: Bay View High School opens
- 1948: First South Shore Water Frolic becomes Milwaukee’s first lakefront festival
- 1977: The Dan Hoan Bridge opens
- 1999: The Lake Parkway opens
→ Bay View Park
Where: 3120 S. Lake Dr.
“Enjoy terrific panoramic views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan from South Lake Drive at Bay View Park.” ~Paul Matzner
While the gray skies, snow-mottled sand and leafless trees might not look as picturesque in December, outdoor enthusiasts will continue to enjoy Bay View Park’s trails throughout the winter, whether walking, running, biking or cross-country skiing.
→ Voyageur Book Shop
Where: 2212 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Cozy into this Kinnickinnic Avenue nook filled with compelling used books and resident literary cat, Bustopher Jones. ~Jessica Zalewski
Whether you’re looking for a contemporary work or a rare, first, signed edition, Voyageur’s growing collection of about 12,000 books has something for everyone. In a bit of whimsy, owners Blaine Wesselowski and Jeremy Mericle, who both previously worked at Renaissance Books, chose a Badger for their logo (“Seemed Wisconsiny,” says Wesselowski) in boots and the floppy, red hat of the French Canadian fur traders, or voyageurs.
→ Acme Records & Music Emporium
Where: 2341 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Acme Records is a home for the owner’s dog and many music-lovers from all walks of life. ~Paige Basil
The shelves at Acme, which has seen a nice five-year run so far, become works of art in themselves as glossy, sleeved album graphics perch on them, ready for your musical explorations. Visit with something in particular in mind — say, Brown Acid’s The Fifth Trip or The Chocolate Watch Band’s Inner Mystique — or explore the shelves and bins for something new.
→ Delaware House
Where: 2499 S. Delaware Ave.
The best monthly dance deal in town: $10 for a lesson, open practice, refreshments and new friends. ~Erin Richards
Renovated and opened by owner Kathy Howell in 2007, Delaware House is at once the home of Howell’s physical therapy business Bodies in Motion and a host to other businesses — including yoga, skin care, massage and acupuncture — that rent the space but all work together holistically to serve Bay View wellness. And, once a month, as Richards attests, they offer a popular First Friday Salsa Social.
→ Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant
Where: 2995 S. Clement Ave.
Dine ‘al fresco’ in warm summer months, enjoy rich pasta dishes and pizza in cold winter months. ~Karl Herschede
I’m told people come for the pizzas but that Tenuta’s is really upping its game with their pastas (which can be ordered gluten-free) and other homemade recipes inspired by Cesare and Antonio Tenuta’s southern Italian upbringing. This warm, inviting, white table-clothed corner restaurant would make a superb date night destination.
→ Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery
Where: 3216 S. Howell Ave.
Unique, cozy space, and live piano; you will understand the word ‘delicious’ by the time you leave. ~Kim Armann
The kitchen at Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery greets you immediately upon entering this breakfast-and-lunch establishment, whose name means “delicious” in Spanish. While you wait, peruse the art gallery, currently featuring Milwaukee photographer Timothy Abler’s black-and-white “A Salvatorian Monastery” series or, if you’re lucky, listen to co-owner Ruben Piirainen play the baby grand.
Where: 2457 S. Wentworth Ave.
Conveniently tucked away with an approachable atmosphere, Goodkind pairs unique libations and victuals that surprise and delight. ~Chris Willey
Willey notes that Goodkind is a rare find because it serves its full menu until 1 a.m. Operating on a residential corner like so many of Bay View’s best restaurants and sourced by dozens of local farms and suppliers, they offer inspired creations like swordfish confit and steamed Maine mussels with octopus posillipo and an N’duja aioli.
→ Hot Head Fried Chicken & Crafty Cow
Where: 2671 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Crispy, tender chicken. Savory sauces on a toasted bun. Delicious sides and drinks to have with friends. ~Kaivahn Sarkaratpour
These two connected restaurants offer a similar aesthetic and even similar menu items, but Hot Head Fried Chicken’s specialty is in the name, and Crafty Cow specializes in craft beers and craft burgers. Hot Head features four styles of chicken, Southern-inspired sides and appetizers, elevated foie gras donuts and lighter fare like the Burrata Avocado. Crafty Cow offers 16 revolving tap lines, build-your-own burger options and over 12 signature burgers.
→ Three Brothers
Where: 2414 S St. Clair St.
The burek is the star of the show at Three Brothers (but make sure to bring cash!) ~Jessica Kaminski
The burek — a succulent, meat-filled filo dough pastry — is, among so many other Serbian favorites like musaka, sarma, goulash and baklava what makes Three Brothers a favorite of so many Milwaukeeans. Everything is made-to-order, so the wait can be long (and they only accept cash), but diners at this tiny but bustling place don’t seem to mind. And the James Beard Foundation doesn’t either (they named the restaurant an “American classic” in 2002); neither does local foodie Kyle Cherek, who recently named it one of “The Midwest’s 38 Essential Restaurants” in Eater Magazine.
→ At Random
Where: 2501 S. Delaware Ave.
Dimly lit with chalkware and fiber optic kitsch, At Random urges guests to contemplate the vibe while they imbibe. ~Carol Rice Kraco
The boxy white exterior belies the unique cocktail lounge that will take you back in time several decades (1964 to be exact), as will the mixed drinks, tiki bowls, and alcoholic ice cream drinks like the classic Grasshopper.
→ Victoria’s on Potter
Where: 1100 E. Potter Ave.
It’s a neighborhood bar in an area you wouldn’t think to look for a drink. Stop in! ~Craig Daemmrich
Yes, we’re headed into more dive bar territory with Victoria’s, this time sailing-themed. Patrons note the friendly, attentive (if not a bit snarky) staff and the various forms of beer-fueled entertainment, such as the life-sized Jenga, the jukebox and everyone’s favorite (only?) pound-the-nail game, Hammerschlagen.
→ Puddler’s Hall
Where: 2461 S. St. Clair St.
My first visit, every person acted as though they’d been waiting all day for me to arrive. ~Nick Berg
Nick adds: “And it’s been that way ever since. To me, Puddler’s feels more like a cozy rec room or clubhouse than a bar — a classic, old-school spot for relaxation and conversation.” The second floor of Puddler’s Hall — named after the workers at the nearby Milwaukee Iron Co. who stirred molten iron with rods, thereby making bar iron — once served as temporary housing for immigrant ironworkers.
→ The Newport
Where: 939 E. Conway St.
“When sitting around the circular bar, it’s like you’re a member of the Coziest Corner Bar Club.” ~Molly Snyder
This is indeed a cozy bar, perched on a residential corner in the little valley formed by Kinnickinnic Avenue and Bay Street. The 1918 building has been owned for 12 years by Frank Creed and serves a friendly, regular crowd, mainly from the neighborhood.
→ The Palm Tavern
Where: 2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Palm Tavern is one of my favorite hidden gems, known for delicious craft cocktails and imported beers. ~Rick Rodriguez
Inconspicuous from the outside and cozy and intimate on the inside like so many Bay View gems, The Palm features 25 tap beers, over a hundred bottled beer options and hundreds of whiskeys and bourbons. Draft Magazine named it “one of America’s best beer bars,” and patrons from far and wide seem to agree.
→ Sven’s European Cafe
Where: 2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
One of my favorite coffee places to bump into neighbors and see what’s new in the ‘View. ~Chris Larson
With its mismatched furniture and two rooms, one featuring a little fireplace, Sven’s offers coffee, bakery items and delicious sandwiches. Roasting since 1989, owner Steve Goretzko (originally from Berlin, Germany) helped pioneer Wisconsin’s fair trade and organic coffee obsession, roasting coffee “the old world way” with large-batch Probot and Gothot German roasters.
→ Hi-Fi Cafe
Where: 2640 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Starlite restaurant mints meet espresso grounds & vanilla ice cream in a Starlite Shake at the Hi-Fi! ~Christina Oster
As a Seattle native who grew up in the ’80s, the Hi-Fi Cafe resonates with me. Something about its retro, primary-colored decor, the music and the layers of concert posters that suggest they have their fingers on the pulse of the hip and trendy perhaps? It’s also just a great place to relax with some coffee, maybe a sandwich and house tortilla chips, and do some grading for school (if I wasn’t at Sven’s way back when, I was at Hi-Fi).
→ Pryor Avenue Iron Well
Where: 1710 E. Pryor Ave.
Memories. My daily routine leads me past the Pryor Avenue Iron Well to get my Groppi’s coffee. ~Nick Hansen
Finally, the Pryor Avenue Iron Well, so named because of its high iron content, has been serving up artesian water since 1882. The last remaining public well in the city, its two continuously pumping faucets still serve neighbors like Hansen and passersby, especially during hot summer days, which are, remember, only a short six months away.